The world needs us to live a NoLimits life now more than ever. Because when you look around at what’s going on in our world, there’s an overwhelming amount of darkness and bad things happening.
And all it takes is a little bit of light to dispel the darkness. That’s actually one reason that we have a service every Sunday, so that if you had a week from hell, you can come here and experience the presence of God, which restores hope.
Many of you know that my wife and I have been married for twelve years and have three little girls all ages four and under. And let me tell you, we didn’t have three kids in three years because I had baby fever. Because all my fellas out there know, guys really aren’t too thrilled about babies.
The reason we had three kids in three years is because I like my wife. And we actually have a relationship series planned for February, so you’ll want to come back for that.
But you know how small kids tend to be afraid of the dark. And all you have to do to help them feel safe again is turn on this tiny little night light. Somehow that 1-watt bulb drives away all the darkness so they are no longer afraid.
It’s really amazing what a little light can do. And that’s something that I want you to remember throughout today’s message.
Now, my oldest daughter Leanna is four and she likes a lot of light. In our bathroom, we have four lights over each vanity with high-powered daylight bulbs in them so Beth can get her makeup just right.
We only use these during the day because there is another low-powered light in the bathroom we use at night.
Well, Leanna likes to use our bathroom first thing in the morning and she is always the first one awake. I can’t tell you how many times Beth and I have been jolted out of our sleep by her turning on the daylight bulbs.
It took us several weeks to get her to understand why she should use the other lights instead, but she no longer turns on the daylight bulbs first thing in the morning and we are really grateful for that.
So now, instead of being woken up by bright lights, I’m woken up by this statement coming from the bathroom, “I’m doooone.” All the parents know what that is, but for those who don’t know, that means the first thing I get to do in the morning is wipe her little hiney.
Alright, back to how it just takes a little bit of light to dispel darkness. When you read through the Bible, you find that a major theme in there is about light overcoming darkness. Like you could make a whole series about this.
Let’s go to the first time light is mentioned. Because when it comes to the Bible, there’s significance in the first time you read about a specific principle. And wouldn’t you know, it’s found in the first chapter of Genesis:
Genesis 1:1-3 NLT – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
So, God was hovering over the darkness, realized that something needed to be done, and these were the first words out of His mouth:
Genesis 1:1-3 NLT – Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
If your kids don’t like the dark, don’t get mad at them because God apparently didn’t like it either.
But there is significance in this. The first words God says in the Bible is, “Let there be light.” And then all throughout the Bible you’ll read about light and darkness. Even thousands of years later, when Jesus spoke about His own life:
John 12:46 NLT – I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.
God was motivated by the darkness to create light. Jesus was motivated by the darkness we see in our culture to come and be the light. And that’s why we are here celebrating Christmas. It’s because Jesus came to save us from the dark.
Christmas doesn’t exist so that we can have a nice holiday and give gifts and eat more food than we do the rest of the year. No, Christmas exists because Jesus wants to bring light into the darkness of our lives.
Have you ever wondered why Christmas is in December instead of June? So it can bring light into the darkest season of the year.
The first day of winter was yesterday, December 21. It’s called the winter solstice because it marks the day of the year with the longest period of darkness in a single day.
The night is over 14 hours long, compared to about 9 hours in June. That’s 5 hours more of darkness! Some of y’all wondered why you are so tired at this time of year and now you know.
So Christmas is placed in this dark season of the year to remind us that Jesus is the light in the darkness. He comes into the darkness of our lives and turns the light on so we can walk in freedom, with joy and with peace.
To illustrate this, I actually want to share a part of the Christmas story that you’ve probably never heard of. Actually, I didn’t even notice this until I was preparing this message.
The first four books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all have one purpose, to tell the story of Jesus. The first and the third book, Matthew and Luke, tell what we call the Christmas story.
Mark and John, the second and fourth book, skip past the whole story of Christmas and jump into Jesus as an adult. But actually, the book of John is different. And this is easy to look over.
John 1:1-2 NLT – In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.
The story of Jesus didn’t start in the manger. Jesus has been here all along. He’s always been a part of what God was doing. Take a look at John’s version of the Christmas story in the next few verses:
John 1:4-5 NLT – The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
This right here is the real Christmas story. The other gospels give the details of the birth of Jesus, but John gives us the significance of the birth of Jesus.
He came to overcome darkness. Because no matter who you are, myself included, we all have darkness in our lives.
And it comes in varying degrees. I remember my first encounter with depression that came on me shortly after my second child was born. The lack of sleep combined with several members of my close family passing away within months of each other caused me to slip into this darkness.
Maybe you can relate. The cause might be different. Maybe you lost a job, or you’re struggling in your marriage, or your health seems to be falling apart, or you’re just a little bit sad and you don’t really know why.
But there’s one that’s worse than all the others and it’s spiritual darkness. It’s when you keep living in sin and you don’t have any way to get rid of it. So, you just carry it around and keep piling it on.
And listen, I sin just like everyone else in this room. But the difference is, I know that I can take it to my Savior who will not only forgive me, but will dust me off, clean me up, and help me move forward.
There’s nothing darker than carrying around the weight of your own bad choices. The shame and the guilt and the disappointment, it’s heavier than any other kind of darkness.
When looking for stories in the Bible about light and darkness, there’s actually one in an unexpected place. This is when the religious leaders caught a woman committing adultery and then tried to use this woman to trick Jesus.
They brought her to Jesus making sure He knew that the law of that day said that she should be stoned to death for her sin. And then they asked Him, “So, what are you going to do? How are you going to fulfill the law without killing this lady?”
Of course, Jesus knew exactly what to do and simply said, “Whoever is without sin, go ahead and through the first stone.”
Aw man. They thought they had Jesus in a catch 22, but He turned that one right around on them. So, all the religious people walked away one by one until it was just Jesus and the lady and He asked, “Who accuses you?”
She said, “No one.” And Jesus replied, “Neither do I. Leave your life of sin and let me show you a better way to live your life.”
You’ve probably heard or read that story before and that’s usually where it ends. But the most profound thing happens in the very next verse:
John 8:12 NLT – Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
This is what Jesus said right after this whole ordeal with the woman who committed adultery. He was basically saying, “Did you see how she just walked away with freedom? I can do the same for you. I can bring light into your life so you no longer have to walk in darkness.”
Jesus wants to bring light into your marriage. He wants to bring light to your health, and to your kids, and your emotions. Jesus wants to flood your life with light so you no longer have to walk in darkness.
I know what you’re thinking, “Kade, is it really that easy?” Well, there is a condition. And you find it in the very first scripture we read today.
Let there be light.
You have to let Jesus bring light into your life. And we all know what the word ‘let’ means, but I looked it up in the dictionary anyways and check this out:
Let – not prevent or forbid; allow.
Man, who would have known that the dictionary could preach better than me. When I looked up that definition, I was amen’ing the dictionary. Come on now, preach it brother Webster.
Here’s what it’s saying. You don’t have to convince Jesus to bring light into your life. You don’t have to do something to earn it. He’s sitting there, patient waiting for you to not prevent or forbid Him but to allow Him to come into your life.
It really is that easy. All you have to do to get out of the darkness you’re in is to allow Jesus to enter. Don’t resist. Open your arms and welcome Him in.
We’re talking about those of you who have already given your life to Jesus, yet you’re forbidding Him from bringing light into a certain area of your life. It could be in your marriage, your health, those old habits you can’t seem to shake.
And I’m even talking to those of you who have been living without Jesus. Today is the day to let the light of the world come into your life so that you don’t have to walk in darkness anymore.
I don’t know what you’re going through. But I’m here to tell you there is light available for you. Don’t just celebrate Christmas this year, but experience Christmas by saying to the darkness in your life, “Let there be light.”
If you’ve been living without Jesus and you’re ready to let the light come into your life, today is your day.
If this is you, I encourage you to say the following prayer out loud:
Jesus, I’ve been living without you and I don’t want to do that anymore. I’ve done a lot of things wrong and I need your forgiveness. I ask for your light to flood my life. Thank you that I no longer have to walk in darkness. I give my life to you. Help me walk in your light.
Congratulations on making the best decision in your life! Giving your life to Jesus is a personal decision. But there is a time to take it public. The way you do that is through water baptism.
Learn more about water baptism on our Next Steps page.